Gas vs. Charcoal Grill

Benefits of Using Charcoal Grills

One of the biggest benefits of using a charcoal grill is that they’re significantly less expensive than gas grills. Most of the time, you can set up a small charcoal grill for about $100. Aside from cost, here are a few more benefits to purchasing a charcoal grill.

  • When heated, the coals provide the heat for cooking and generally don’t flare up like open flame gas grills. (This doesn’t mean they’re safer, though.) If you want to be safe while grilling, check out these safety tips.
  • Charcoal grills are generally more portable than gas grills.
  • Charcoal burns hotter than gas.
  • Since you can’t dial down the heat, you can leave areas without briquettes to control the temperature. This allows you to sear your protein and then allow it to finish cooking in the cooler areas.
  • Many people also prefer the smoke flavor a charcoal grill provides.

What charcoal brings to the party is a healthy heaping of aroma compounds, the other half of the power couple that is flavor. In fact, aroma might be the super starlet in that relationship, because our tongues are actually pretty limited. “There are only five taste receptors that are well agreed upon to exist within your taste buds,” Sacks says. He’s referring to sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and the new kid, umami.

Aromas are released when you bite into your food. They travel up your retronasal cavity and light up your olfactory receptors. That neurological signal mixes with whatever your taste buds are saying and tells your brain what’s going on in your mouth

So if you have two identical steaks, cooked at identical temperatures, for the same amount of time, where the only difference is that one is cooked over charcoal and one is cooked over gas, what will be the end result? The charcoal-cooked steak will taste more like bacon.

Case closed.

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